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Song Parodies -> "We Didn't Switch to Metric"

Original Song Title:

"We Didn't Start the Fire"

 (MP3)
Original Performer:

Billy Joel

Parody Song Title:

"We Didn't Switch to Metric"

Parody Written by:

Susanna Viljanen

The Lyrics

Twip, point, pica, line, poppyseed, barley- fine,
nail, digit, finger, span, inch and palm and hand
Span, cubit, shaftment, pace, foot, yard, Goodness grace!
ell, grade, link, rod, fathom, shackle, dam

Rope, rod, Gunter's chain, skein, furlong, Ramsden's chain
Roman mile, statute mile and nautical mile
Cable, spindle, league, thou, button, perch on the go
Light second, light year, they will make you smile


We didn't switch to metric
It was all these units, and they're not a fewness
We didn't switch to metric
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

Square thou, square inch, square foot, square yard,
square chain, perch, rood, acre, oxgang, daugh
Virgate, carucate,, square mile, section late,
township, ploughgate, markland - that's rough!

Minim, drop, fluid dram, fluid ounce, pint - not gram,
fluid gallon, beer barrel, barrel, hogshead
Cubic inch, cubic foot, cubic yard, acre-foot,
cubic mile, cord, peck, dry volumes are dead

We didn't switch to metric
It was all these units, and they're not a fewness
We didn't switch to metric
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

Dry ounce, dry pint, dry gallon, don't have a hint
Peter Piper picked pickled pepper one peck
Bushel, aum, cordfoot, cram, London quarter give a damn
Bucket, butt, register ton - I mean, what the heck?

Grain, scruple, shilling, dram, pennyweight is not a gram
troy ounce, troy mark, troy pound, nail -
Avoirdupois ounce and pound, stone can be found on the ground
Hundredweight both long and short, ton is two kinds on record
large sack, keel, tod, tank will make you wail -

We didn't switch to metric
It was all these units, and they're not a fewness
We didn't switch to metric
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

Feet per second, knots are go, miles per gallon on the row
furlongs per fortnight, inches mercury
Slug and poundal, BTU, horsepower, yes, that too,
foot-pound and PSI, that's insanity

Firkin, pin and nanoacre, kilderkin is not a faker
football field and soccer pitch and bag and TEU
Size of Wales and London bus, Fahrenheit and all of us
elephant and board foot and gill, yes that too

We didn't switch to metric
It was all these units, and they're not a fewness
We didn't switch to metric
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

We didn't switch to metric
It was all these units, and they're not a fewness
We didn't switch to metric
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

We didn't switch to metric
It was all these units, and they're not a fewness
We didn't switch to metric
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

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Voting Results

 
Pacing: 2.6
How Funny: 2.6
Overall Rating: 2.6

Total Votes: 22

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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 3   0
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 5   9
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User Comments

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Dylan Baranski - July 02, 2021 - Report this comment
This has to be one of the most clever parodies I've seen of the OS! Here's 555 meters, or kilograms, or liters, or whatever for you! TRIVIA: The US briefly - and I do mean BRIEFLY - switched to metric in 1975-76. Probably one of the few remnants of this is that large soda bottles are measured in liters - two-liter bottles being the most common.
George Carlin channeled by K1chyd - July 02, 2021 - Report this comment
"How about a jiffy or a flash? Which is quicker, a jiffy or a flash? I think there are two flashes in a jiffy myself. But God knows how many jiffies there are in two shakes of a lambs tail. But why did they use two shakes of a lambs tail? What's wrong with the basic unit of measurement, one shake of a lamb's tail?"
CML - July 03, 2021 - Report this comment
My jaw dropped as I read these lyrics ... by more than a smidgeon
Susanna Viljanen - July 03, 2021 - Report this comment
Thank you you liked this spoof :-) Kudos to Frank S. Share in Quora, who inspired me to do it.
Agrimorfee - July 03, 2021 - Report this comment
Like--Holy cow...a parody that took real WORK and thought, haven't seen that enough around here in ages. Mucho kudos.
wildcard - July 03, 2021 - Report this comment
I thought I was learning lots of stuff. Who's Peter Piper anyway?
AranJutan - July 04, 2021 - Report this comment
Skosh didn't make the list? Hiroshimas? Still, impressive how many were included.
Rick Duncan - July 09, 2021 - Report this comment
Glad I checked in to catch this one. I love good research!
Patrick - July 09, 2021 - Report this comment
I think I saw your entry on Quora regarding metric. I can think of a few other units, but they are obscene (p*sspot full, sh*tload). I regularly watch a show about Canadian gold miners. They still use a mix of meters and feet, miles and kilometers. Gold itself is measured in Troy Ounces, which are not the same as avoirdupois ounces. There is another show about preppers and survivalists. It sounds strange to hear the narrator describe two towns in Texas being 50 kilometers apart, since the locals would never use that measure. As the other commentators have noted, this is quite an achievement in parody writing, based on what I consider one of the most difficult popular songs out there.

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